In 1865, the Bill of Fare for President Lincoln’s first Inaugural Ball included pretty much every type of meat you can think of. There were oysters and turtles, chicken, turkey grouse, beef four different ways, duck, quail ham, tongue, and venison. (OK, no horse meat — this was still America, after all.) Even the salads were meat salads — chicken and lobster. Perhaps there was some chopped celery mixed in with the mayonnaise. We’re guessing not, though.


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But in more than a century and a half, it appears Americans have warmed somewhat to vegetables. The menu for today’s inaugural lunch features its own luxurious and exotic seafood and meat — lobster, clams, bison. But there’s also spinach, butternut squash, beets, green beans, red cabbage, and wild huckleberry reduction. A vegetarian might almost be able to put a whole meal together!

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